One day when I was young, my brother asked me, “If you die tonight, do you think you would go to heaven?”

I answered immediately without hesitating, “Yes, of course!”  I thought to myself that my father is a pastor, I go to church every week, I believe that Jesus is God and I’m a good person – at least better than many of my friends, so yes, I’m going to heaven.

I thought that I was going to heaven but unfortunately I was wrong!

I thought that I was going to heaven but unfortunately I was wrong!

A few years later there was a meeting to find out about Jesus and I wasn’t going to go because I figured that I already knew all about Jesus.  But my brother was going so I went along as well.  At that meeting people were praying, some were crying and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing.

Suddenly God showed me a vision – a picture of my heart.  It was rotten, black and full of holes and I knew that this is how I looked to God – that my “goodness” wasn’t good at all.  I began to cry in shame as I realized how awful my sinfulness was before God.

Then God showed me another picture but this time it was a picture of hell!  It was dark and isolated and scary.  I knew that this is where I was headed if something didn’t change.

I cried out to God, this time in fear, and asked God to forgive my sins and change me.  As I prayed and cried, it felt like an onion being peeled as I could feel the layers of my sins being taken away – my jealousy toward my brother, my anger and bitterness toward my father, my lust and many other sins.

I then felt new and clean and forgiven!  God had changed me!

The next day at school, a friend asked what had happened to me and that I was different.  I knew something was different on the inside, but I was surprised that my friend noticed something.  I realized one area that God changed in me was that I had stopped swearing.  I didn’t try to stop.  The bad words just weren’t there any more.  I hadn’t even noticed until my friends said something.  God truly transformed my life and this was just the beginning!

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